Success at the 2014 Engineering Impact Awards

Dr David Keeling and Justin Gallagher of the University of Leeds and founders Engineering company Key Engineering Solutions Ltd, once again showcased that Leeds is a hub for excellence in robotics.

Their entry (Improving the Lives of Cerebral Palsy Sufferers by Creating a Distributable Therapy Device) won the Machine Control category at the 2014 Engineering Impact Awards, hosted by National Instruments at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London.

Visiting lecturer Dr Keeling and current PhD student Mr Justin Gallagher worked with researchers from the newly opened EPSRC National Facility for Innovative Robotic Systems, to develop a novel rehabilitation device towards a mass-producible state. The device aims to take part in national home-based trials, the like of which have never been conducted on such a large scale before.

The event was hosted by National Instruments who are a global leader in providing test, measurement, and embedded systems for engineers and scientists at their annual UK conference. Dignitaries and notable people, including Francis Griffiths (Senior Vice President of Regional Sales and Marketing), attended the prestigious event to showcase some of the UK's most impressive applications that address some of our greatest challenges. 

This builds on previous success of our undergraduate students who reached the finals of the student design completion in 2011, 2012 and again in 2013, and also our research students who won multiple awards in 2009 and 2012 for innovative research in rehabilitation robotics and a human heart simulator. Professor Martin Levelsey said “It’s really rewarding to see Dave and Justin win this award for their work. It’s a great example of the quality of robotics research and collaboration with key industrial partners going on at Leeds.” 

At the same event, Dr Keeling was also a finalist in the Education category for development of a radically different electronics course that was interesting, motivational and relevant for product designers. This work builds upon the school of Mechanical Engineering’s practical approach to education adopted over recent years and is another reason why Mechanical Engineering at Leeds is in the top 5 league tables in the UK.